Assessment of Salinity Effect on Germination, Growth and Yield of Solanum lycopersicum (L.)
This study was aimed at unraveling the morphological effect of salinity on germination, growth and yield of S. lycopersicum, through inducement of salinity (0, 4, 6, 8, and 10 g NaCl). All the parameters considered: germination percentage, leaves number, stem girth, plant height and fruit quality, were significantly affected by NaCl treatments (salinity) compared with the control (no salinity). 100% germination was recorded only in control and 4 g NaCl concentration, though the percentage of germination was faster in control than within the 4 g NaCl. ‘Tomato UC-83-B’ plants’ growth till maturity, shed leaves, chlorosis and leaf burns around edges occurred due to osmotic imbalance and water deficit caused by salinity, which invariably had effect on leaf area, although the reduction in leaf area varied among tested NaCl concentrations. Fruits yield and quality of ‘Tomato UC-83-B’ treated with NaCl was poor and relative to the degree of saline inducements, with 10 g NaCl treatment producing the least fruits. Chlorophyll contents were also significantly reduced by increasing saline concentrations. Ca and K were the predominant elements found in the digested fruit samples observed under Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) at different NaCl concentrations, while Mg, Na and P were significantly less. Salinity is a major abiotic factor that hampered the overall performance of tomato crop in salient ways and must therefore be curbed in order to meet its increasing global demand.
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